The story of Kevin Dillman's football career isn't about Dillman himself, at least not entirely. Rather, it's about the people — the family, friends, coaches and teammates — who helped make it happen.
Sure, there are facts about Dillman that are important and have been plastered on sites such as Sports Illustrated for years. He's 17 years old and recently committed to Nebraska for the class of 2015. The 6'4", 220-pound dual-threat quarterback is a 3-star prospect and considered one of the top 50 players in the state of Texas. As of April 2014, he held more than a dozen scholarship offers. The first, from UCLA under former head coach Rick Neuheisel, came when he was a freshman in high school.
Born in Östersund and raised in Ystad, Sweden, Dillman moved to LaMirada, California in 2011 as a 14-year-old — without his parents. In January, he relocated to Denton, Texas. Perhaps one day he could be the first known Swedish-born quarterback to start in a major college football game.
Still, his journey is about more than him.
It's about his parents, Steven and Carina Dillman, who are determined to raise their 17-year-old son from some 5,000 miles away. To a lesser degree, it's about the money they've spent — the family asked that the number not be released — to finance their son's dream of playing football.
It's about the host families who agreed to open their doors to Kevin. First, it was Kenny and Nancy Meyer in La Mirada. In January, it was Peter and Yuki Dames in Denton, whose ties to Kevin go back to the moment he was born.
It's about John Walsh, Mike Moschetti, Hampus Persson and the dozens of other coaches who have dedicated their time to developing Kevin as a quarterback.

And in 2003, it wasn't about a person at all. It was about an advertisement in an ICA, a Scandinavian grocery chain, that would eventually lead Kevin to Lincoln, Nebraska, where football isn't just a hobby, it's a religion.
There was nothing specific that Dillman remembered about the moment at the ICA. There was nothing even particularly memorable about the poster itself beyond pictures of helmets and shoulder pads. All he knew is that one word piqued his interest:
Not football as the rest of the world knows it. American football. Even living in a country like Sweden, with Burger Kings and American movies without subtitles, this was new. The poster had him hooked and he tried out for the Ytown Rockets, a club team in Ystad.
The initial results were mixed.
"It definitely did not come naturally," he said. "It was a lot of new terminology. I had never even heard of it before."
That didn't prevent Dillman from trying different positions over the years, from defensive back to running back. Punting and kicking, however, was a different story.
"It’s my weakest link," Dillman muttered.
Peter Dames, Dillman's host and so-called step-uncle, chimed in. “If you want to see something funny, watch Kevin kick."
If there was any familiarity with football, it was with the equipment. As a former goalie for his little league hockey team, Dillman was used to being weighed down with gear. Even the first brutal clack of the football pads didn't bother him.
That was a small miracle in a way. For most of Dillman's early football career, he was smaller than the older kids with whom he played.
"He was the only kid on the team born in 1996 and he was practicing with kids born in 1992," Dillman's father said. "Being in that age group — he was 9 and everyone else was around 12 or 13 — there’s a pretty big difference in size. He always hung in there, but he got beat up pretty bad. That’s how it has been. He’s always been two, three, four years younger. He learned how to play with the kids who were older, faster, stronger. Fortunately, he became pretty tall and strong himself."
By 2009, Dillman was competing in the Swedish National Championship with the Rockets' under-17 team. He was maturing physically and growing as a quarterback. Four years after he started playing football, he joined the Limhamn Griffins in Malmö, a city on the country's western coast.
Since club football in Sweden is a small community compared to the United States, Dillman was familiar with several coaches. Among them were Hampus Persson, the Griffins offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, and head coach Carl-Johan Haraldsson. Those coaches, according to Dillman and his father, were among those largely responsible for his son's development as a quarterback. Yet, Dillman knew if he wanted to get serious about football, he was going to have to come to the United States full-time.
The biggest adjustment for Dillman has been mastering the details, whether in math or football. As he came to find out, words and phrases don't always translate.
"English and Swedish are similar that way," Dillman explained. "There really aren't rules."
"The first three weeks or month of his freshman season, he was still learning our terminology, concepts and run game," said Moschetti, Dillman's former varsity coach at La Mirada. "He had to start from scratch. What’s Cover 3? What’s Cover 2? Who are we attacking on certain pass concepts?"
What is the same in every language is toughness and determination. That's what it takes to be successful on the football field and as a teenager in a foreign country. That's what Moschetti and Walsh, Dillman's head coaches at Guyer High School, like most about him.
"It’s hard to be a new guy ... that comes in with scholarship offers — and we have other quarterbacks here who are ready to be the starter," Walsh said. "But those guys are all friends. Those social skills to come in and make that transition, and for the team to accept him, says a lot about his character.”